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32 Reviews
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November 5, 2009

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November 5, 2009

My family has found a Jewish home at Kavana! My wife and I were looking for a community in which to raise our children that is more open-minded than a traditional congregation, and found in Kavana a place where Jews of all shapes and sizes are treated equally. We're thrilled with the emphasis on practicing Judiasm, as opposed to just watching professionals practice it at services. And, the net result has been that we live a much more Jewish life than we would have if it weren't for Kavana.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the world! The thirst among young Jews for organizations like Kavana is enormous. The primary limitation is the resources to meet the demand.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 30, 2009

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October 30, 2009

Kavana is a wonderful organization that provides opportunites for Jews from a wide variety of backgrounds to make their Judaism relevant and meaningful--whether through learning, prayer, social justice, or the outdoors. I particularly love the Rebbe's Tisch which is an opportunity to share music, Havdalah, food and drink, and Torah in a relaxed setting.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

expanding my social circle

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the connections with other people and the ruach at events

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and kind, and warm

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

hire more staff, increase the salaries of underpaid current staff members, have its own facilities

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 29, 2009

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October 29, 2009

I have been participating in Kavana for almost three years. I regularly attend Shabbat davening and Living Room Learning, as well as High Holiday services. I find its DIY approach to Judaism engaging and fulfilling. Kavana has provided a supportive and open community for increasing my own Jewish knowledge and skills.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

providing a place for people who are not necessarily comfortable or welcomed in traditional synagogue to express and expand their interest in Judaism.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

finding a community of like-minded learners and daveners.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

passionate and welcoming.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

replicate its model across the country.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 28, 2009

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October 28, 2009

Last week, my 7 yr old son got angry with me. Why? because I didn't plan a family shabbat dinner and, instead, had the kids eat before bed. That night, just as I was putting my 4 year old daughter to bed, she started singing "Ma's Leg".."Ma's Leg" at the top of her lungs. I asked her what she thought that meant, and she correctly answered "Fork!". When Kavana was started, one of the outcomes we were targeting was that it engender not just a positive identity, but that special pixie dust that usually accompanies trips to Israel and summer camp. My children's exuberance - and my ability to also personally enjoy meaningful experiences - prove to me that we are on an amazing track towards success!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Every day of my life.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

How it has positively impacted me, my spouse, my children and my community

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Passionate, sharp, caring, energetic.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

further meet the needs of the participants and start to equip others to create similar organizations

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 28, 2009

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October 28, 2009

Kavana has made it possible for my husband and I to daven in a meaningful way for the last 2 years after 4 years of feeling we did not have a place to go. Because of Kavana, we are now thinking about participating in a Jewish community year round, and feel empowered to know that if we have children, there is a place we feel will help us instill the values and experiences we care about.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

They are welcoming and encouraging without being demanding or overbearing.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Many people -- they introduce themselves and remember your name and face.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Have a steady home and reach even more people with it innovative ideas for making traditional Judaism relevant in non traditional ways.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 28, 2009

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October 28, 2009

Kavana is the first Jewish community where I have felt truly welcomed. When attending large synagogues or community events, often only the people who know me would talk to me or welcome me, however at Kavana, not only do the staff always welcome me and check in with me periodically, but the entire community welcomes me. Even though I am not as active with Kavana as I would like to be, I always feel comfortable and a part of the community when I do attend something.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the welcoming sense of community I experience every time I attend an event.

Ways to make it better...

I lived closer to the neighborhood they have most of their events at.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

fund-raising.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 26, 2009

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October 26, 2009

Having raised sons in Michigan, where we were active in our Temple, I found that only Jewish camp experience fostered the sense of Peoplehood and joy in being Jewish that is lasting. Kavana has been able to capture my grandchildren and all the many children of all ages in enthusiastically learning our traditions and the fun of actively being involved in preparing for and celebrating our holidays. Rabbi Rachel is the Peid Piper and both my 8 year old granddaughter and 6 year old grandson adore her.The concept of involving all the generations of each family in activities forges a bond that extends into each home. At age 80, having lived in many different parts of the country, I find Kavana to be unique.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

listening to my grandchildren participate in our Shabbat celebration, preparing for the various holidays and seeing the arts and crafts items which they proudly display.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

That all the members of each family participates in the activities which fosters a sense of truly belonging to the Jewish Peoplehood - a wonderful feeling.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Intelligent, welcoming and charming.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Spread its mantle further to include more families and hire more staff. Kavana is truly innovative and makes being Jewish fun, while not neglecting the teaching of Judaism.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 24, 2009

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October 24, 2009

I have been slow to fully participate in Kavana's variety of experience believing that only time would reveal whether this Jewish Community was truly different from others I have attempted to become a part of. And my patience has been rewarded. This is a community of bright and engaged people who want to explore religion, community, ethnicity, ethics, values and ideas. They provide forums and activities which allow for disccussion, exploration and fun. I feel very lucky.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the surprising discovery of my interest in Judaism and its role in my life and the lives of those around me.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Probably search out a few more 'elders.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

It's welcoming nature; the high quality of discussion and study; the encouragement.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Wonderful and inviting.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change the world (at least for those Jews who gave up trying to find their place and their community)!

Ways to make it better...

I keep hoping for a few more members over 50 - but the organization is still new.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

As usual - money for all of the projects they wish to sponsor.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a part of this new way of approaching community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 23, 2009

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October 23, 2009

For a while I felt that I was missing a part of my Jewish identity, as I did not feel connected with a particular synagogue, but I was too old to be a regular at Hillel. After finding Kavana, this is the type of place that strives to make everyone feel connected, takes into account that people come from different backgounds and life experiences, and works to weave it all into something that strives to give each member what they seek.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

how it started as a community organization. Without a permenant space, they were forced to work out of people's home and public spaces, and it gave everything a more intimate feel than it would if it was all just housed in a large hall.

Ways to make it better...

there were more progamming geared towards the 20's-30's crowd. Much of it seems to be focused on those members with young children.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

October 22, 2009

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October 22, 2009

I suppose on some level I must have been searching for a Jewish community and organization to belong to, after being out of things for a while. However, I don't think I really knew it until I met the folks at Kavana. There's just something terribly contagious about the warmth, sincerity, humor, curiosity, intelligence, and..."kavana" that permeates the group, from Rabbi Rachel on downward (...upward? around?). "Multiple entry points to Jewish involvement" is a very nice phrase but the reality of it played out in a room full of eager participants with something to share is even better. Yasher Koach!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

...ordinary people just like me. I know it sounds silly, but it's inspiring sometimes.

Ways to make it better...

Some of the events I've attended have been pretty big. That can be exciting and it speaks to the popularity of the programs, but personally I tend to be a little more comfortable in smaller settings.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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